The Great Debate UK
(UPDATED Dec 18 – This post is now closed for questions)
Conservative Party leader David Cameron will be speaking on the economy and the credit crunch at Thomson Reuters’ Canary Wharf office on Monday, followed by a question and answer session.
The Tory leader has argued that two main problems face Britain at present – a recession coupled with a record level of government debt, and that the government is trying to tackle one while ignoring the other.
“Every week this government is in power the mortgaging of the future gets greater. Every week the debt gets larger. Every week the burdens on our children mount up higher,” Cameron has said. He has accused Gordon Brown of “economic crimes” saying the Prime Minister “has brought this country to the brink of bankruptcy and the worst recession in the G7.”
Here is your chance to put your questions to the man credited with making the Conservative Party electable again. We will be putting questions from our Web readers to Cameron at the event.
from UK News:
This week, the all-important services sector (which makes up three quarters of economic output) recorded its weakest headline index since 1996 and seventh straight month of contraction. Together with dismal news on unemployment and inflation, these surveys confirm that recession is spiralling as we reach the close of 2008.
The financial crisis has rallied support for euro adoption in many European countries outside the currency bloc, yet in Britain the discussion is so far confined to a few voices among the policy elite.
The politics of the issue remain as fraught as ever, and Britons appear no more willing to lose monetary sovereignty in a recession than they were in the boom years.
Eric Auchard is a Reuters columnists. The opinions expressed in this column are his own.
For years, Web retailers have touted their convenience and efficency over conventional retailers, and enjoyed surging double-digit sales growth, especially in the crucial year-end holiday shopping season. But the steady draining of consumer confidence reflected in recent government data and the latest market research reports suggest the online retail industry is bracing for a humbling first-ever year of flat or even contracting holiday sales.
Peter Hemington is a Corporate Finance Partner at BDO Stoy Hayward. The views expressed are his own.
Over the past few weeks several business surveys, including our own BDO Business Trends report, have painted a very gloomy picture of the UK economy. Short and medium term business confidence continues to plummet as the credit crunch takes its toll on unemployment figures, the housing market, the ability or desire that banks have to lend and consumer spending.
Mark Schofield is a tax partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. The views expressed are his own.
There were a number of initiatives unveiled to kick start the UK economy which will increase the budget deficit for 2009/2010 to £118 billion. The Chancellor assured the House of Commons that finances would be back in balance by 2013/14 at which point the country “will only be borrowing to fund investment”. By that year the net UK government debt will be over £1 trillion representing 57.4% of GDP, compared with an estimate of £602 billion, 39.4%, for 2008/9.
Roger Bootle is economic adviser to Deloitte. The views expressed are his own.
The Chancellor was right to try to give some help to the economy but, while the scale of the increase in future borrowing is huge, the economic effect of the reduction in VAT will be tiny.
The size of the PBR package, about £9 billion this year, rising to £16bn next year, was roughly equal to what had been mooted in the media. But the scale of the measures, although they sound large, is in fact small.